U.S. Women’s Open storylines: Thompson’s farewell tour, Korda’s quest and Zhang back in action

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U.S. Women’s Open storylines: Thompson’s farewell tour, Korda’s quest, and Zhang back in action

By Coley Harvey, ESPN Staff Writer

Published on May 29, 2024, 06:38 PM ET

With its challenging terrain and demanding greens, the Old Course at Lancaster Country Club is set to test the skills of the 156-golfer field at the U.S. Women’s Open, the LPGA’s second major championship of the season.

For seasoned golfer Lexi Thompson, who is gearing up for her 18th consecutive appearance at the Open, navigating a tough course like this is what major tournaments are all about.

“It’s a challenging course, as every major championship should be,” Thompson remarked about the hilly and demanding Lancaster Country Club.

World No. 1 golfer Nelly Korda also shared her thoughts on the course, describing it as a formidable test of all facets of a player’s game, both physical and mental.

Korda has dominated this season, winning six out of the eight events she has entered, including the Chevron Championship in April, the season’s other major tournament. Despite narrowly missing out on a record-breaking sixth consecutive victory at the Cognizant Founders Cup, Korda remains focused on maintaining her exceptional form.

The spotlight will be on Korda as she vies for victory at the U.S. Women’s Open, and she leads the list of key storylines to follow this weekend:

Korda goes for second major win

Korda has been on a winning streak this season, clinching six victories, with one of them coming in a major championship. Despite the near miss at the Cognizant Founders Cup, where Rose Zhang and Madelene Sagstrom impressed with their performances, Korda’s determination to excel remains unwavering.

Before taking a break last week, Korda secured her sixth win at the Mizuho Americas Open in New Jersey, further solidifying her exceptional season.

Reflecting on her early days in professional golf, Korda recalled how the U.S. Women’s Open marked a turning point in her career, inspiring her to pursue golf as a profession.

Adjustments key for Zhang?

After her remarkable performance at the Cognizant Founders Cup, where she posted a remarkable score, Zhang attributed her success to recent adjustments in her game. She expressed confidence in her improved performance and highlighted the ongoing progress in her game leading up to the U.S. Women’s Open.The Women’s U.S. Open is approaching, and Rose Zhang is gearing up for her first event in three weeks after her victory at the Upper Montclair Country Club. Prior to the tournament, Zhang’s father made a remark suggesting a 23-under could secure a win, which motivated her to focus on hitting fairways, greens, and making good putts. Zhang attributed her success during the tournament to her consistency and aims to replicate it in the upcoming competition.

Meanwhile, Lexi Thompson, a prominent figure in golf with two Olympic appearances and six Solheim Cup competitions, announced that this season would be her last competing full-time on the LPGA Tour. Reflecting on her career that started when she qualified for the U.S. Women’s Open at 12 years old, Thompson expressed gratitude for the journey and relationships built throughout her career.

Looking at past winners, Allisen Corpuz, the victor of last year’s U.S. Women’s Open at Pebble Beach, is seeking to defend her title with confidence gained from her previous win. Additionally, the 2015 U.S. Women’s Open champion In Gee Chun is back in the competition, aiming to give back to the community by supporting educational endeavors through her foundation established at the country club.

The upcoming tournament promises to be a showcase of talent and dedication, with various storylines unfolding as the players gear up to compete.

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